The Marvel Cinematic Universe's long-gestating Thunderbolts project is finally on its way to becoming a reality. On Thursday, reports indicated that Jake Schreier has been tapped to direct an upcoming Thunderbolts movie, with Black Widow's Eric Pearson set to write the script and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige set to produce. Reports are indicating that the film could begin production next summer, and that Marvel Studios has been "in touch with certain individuals" who are already a part of the franchise to make sure their schedules are clear for the shoot.
Schreier is best known for directing the 2012 indie darling Robot & Frank, as well as the 2015 adaptation of John Green's novel Paper Towns. He has also helmed episodes of Beef and Dave, as well as music videos for Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar. It had previously been rumored that a Thunderbolts movie could be in the works to begin production sometime in 2023.
It is unclear at this point who could make up the cast of Thunderbolts, a team that traditionally consists of supervillains and antiheroes going on missions, initially to convince the general public that they are operating as heroes. The first comic incarnation of the team was led by Baron Zemo, with other members including Songbird, Moonstone, Taskmaster, U.S. Agent, Crossbones, Abomination, Ghost, and more. The team gets its namesake from General Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt), but following Hurt's passing earlier this year, it's anyone's guess as to how that aspect of the storyline could be handled.
The idea of the Thunderbolts being formed in the MCU has been popping up for several years now, particularly as more antiheroic characters have begun to be established. The inklings of that storyline might have already been put in place with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Black Widow, both of which featured scenes of Countess Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julie Louis-Dreyfuss) recruiting people for a shady team she was forming. So far, Val got John Walker / U.S. Agent (Wyatt Russell) and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) to work for her, with the latter's adventures playing out in the recent Hawkeye Disney+ series.
"That would be fun!" Ghost actress Hannah John-Kamen explained in a 2018 interview. "That would be fun. I think, you know, as well, in the original comics Ghost was with Iron Man, it was actually originally Iron Man (villain), you know, and I actually went when I was in Atlanta, went and actually bought the Thunderbolts comic books. With any Marvel character whatever happens to them, you always go the possibility is endless. And with me, it would be an honor to work with any of the heroes, and any of the antagonist, and any of the things in the Marvel Universe. I mean, yeah, that would be amazing!?"
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